How to Reheat Tamales in the Instant Pot

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Learn how to reheat tamales the easy way, by steaming them in your Instant Pot!

homemade tamales in a steamer basket in front of an Instant Pot pressure cooker
Did you know you can reheat tamales in the Instant Pot? It’s a cinch to do it, and the result is tender and moist tamales! Keep reading to get the tips and tricks for using this method.
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It doesn ’ t take long to realize barely how versatile the Instant Pot is. It is one of the most useful appliances in my kitchen, for certain !
One of the most little-known uses for the Instant Pot is the fact that you can reheat leftovers in the Instant Pot !
today, I ’ megabyte sharing how to reheat tamales in the Instant Pot, whether they ’ rhenium freeze or thawed, and you ’ ll be amazed at merely how simple it is .

Warming Tamales without an Oven or Microwave

Warming food in the Instant Pot is particularly useful if you don ’ t have a microwave, or for those foods that can sometimes have a tendency to dry out in the microwave, such as tamales .
not only that, but you can besides keep food warm in the Instant Pot, which is great if you ’ re cook now but won ’ metric ton be eating it until a little late .
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two tamales that were reheated in the Instant Pot, next to a serving of yellow spanish rice

The Best Way to Reheat Tamales

I don ’ t actually make homemade tamales myself, but every Christmas season, I order a twelve homemade tamales from a charwoman in my church service who makes them, and they are amazing !
so when it ’ south time for us to eat them, I want to reheat them the best potential way, which is steaming !
Because let ’ sulfur be honest–if you or person else took the fourth dimension to make delicious homemade tamales, you surely want to reheat them the best way .
When you reheat tamales in the Instant Pot, the moist steaming environment helps to keep the tamales nice and tender, exactly as they should be!
I admit, I used to barely reheat them in the microwave, and the fact is–that ’ s the fastest manner to do it if you ’ re in a haste .
But, I think using the Instant Pot is the best way to reheat tamales, because steaming them preserves their texture so well .

How to Steam Tamales in the Instant Pot

These are the tips and tricks I find utilitarian when reheating tamales .
(Printable instructions are available below)

Add Water to the Instant Pot

First up, you ’ ll add some water to the insert batch of the Instant Pot. This is necessary to create the muggy environment .
water being poured into the insert pot of the Instant Pot for steaming tamales

Use a Steamer Basket

To steam tamales in your Instant Pot, I recommend using a soft-shell clam basket .
Since we added water to the Instant Pot, we need a manner to keep the tamales out of the water, and a steamer basket works absolutely for that .
I have this steamer basket and it works great for this aim .

717 Industries Steamer Basket, Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer Compatible with Instant Pot and Other Pressure Cookers, Fits 6 & 8 Quart Pots (Grey Silicone Handle)

717 Industries Steamer Basket, Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer Compatible with Instant Pot and Other Pressure Cookers, Fits 6 & 8 Quart Pots (Grey Silicone Handle)

  • ⭐️ Instant Pot Compatible – The 717 Steamer Basket is compatible with 6 and 8 quart Instant Pots, as well as many other Pots and Pressure Cookers. The 717 Steamer Basket is perfect for Eggs, Meats, and Veggies

Stand the Tamales Upright if Possible

While you can stack the tamales on top of each other, I find they reheat more evenly if you stand them erect on their ends .
This put exposes more surface area, which allows the steam to circulate more around each tamale .
tamales standing upright in a steamer basket

Use the Steam Function

If your tamales are cold ( but not freeze ), start with a 5 hour steam time. I ’ ve found this is the perfective sum of prison term for reheating tamales, but this is just a start indicate .
If your Instant Pot is crammed full of tamales, you may need to increase the steam time by a moment or two. Likewise, if your tamales are large and have a set of filling, they may need extra steam time .

How to Reheat Frozen Tamales in the Instant Pot

Heating freeze tamales is a cinch with your Instant pot ! If you ’ re wanting to warm up some freeze tamales, whether they are homemade or boughten, this is the best way to reheat them !
Keep in take care, these tamales were already cooked before being frozen, so we ’ re basically just heating the tamales using the steam serve of the Instant Pot .
Four frozen tamales in a steamer basket, for reheating in the Instant Pot

How Long to Steam Frozen Tamales

If your tamales are fixed, all you have to do is increase the steam time to 15 minutes. This worked great for my fairly large tamales .
If your tamales are smaller, you will probable be able to get by with less time–you could try a steam time of 10 minutes .
After the steam fourth dimension is dispatch, do a quick exhaust and cautiously open the lid to lift out the basket .
freshly steamed tamales from the Instant Pot

What if I Don’t Have a Steamer Basket?

If you need to reheat tamales but don ’ thyroxine have a soft-shell clam basket, you can try standing the tamales up on the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. It can be a little crafty to balance them this means, but it can still be done !
alternatively, you can lay the tamales flat on the trivet and steam them that way .
If you ’ ra stacking several tamales, I ’ five hundred increase the steam clock time by a pair of minutes. But if you ’ re just laying a few on the trivet, the 5 hour recommendation should work equitable fine .
Either way, enjoy your absolutely reheated tamales ! I love serving mine with some Instant Pot Spanish rice or Instant Pot jaundiced rice as a quick and easy side item .
Continue to Content

Yield: Varies

How to Reheat Tamales in the Instant Pot

steamer basket of tamales in front of the Instant Pot
Learn how to reheat tamales in your Instant Pot, steaming them to perfection !
Prep Time

1 minute

Cook Time

5 minutes

Additional Time

10 minutes

Total Time

16 minutes


  • 4 Pre-cooked tamales (or however many you want to reheat)


  1. Add 1 cup of water to the insert pot of the Instant Pot. Set a steamer basket in place.
  2. Add tamales to the steamer basket, standing them up on their ends if possible.
  3. Close lid and set vent to the sealed position. Use the Steam button to select a steam time of 5 minutes for thawed tamales, and 15 minutes for frozen tamales.
  4. After the steam time is complete, perform a quick release of the pressure, then carefully remove the lid.
  5. Remove the steamer basket carefully and serve the tamales. Enjoy!


  • If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can lay the tamales flat across the trivet that came with your Instant Pot or try standing them up on the trivet. If you only have a few tamales laying on the trivet, stick with the 5 minute steam time. However, if you are stacking several this way, increase the steam time by a couple of minutes.
  • This steam time is a starting point–depending on how large/cold your tamales are, you may need to add a couple of minutes. If you find the tamales aren’t warmed through after the steam time, replace the lid and add 2-5 more minutes of steam time.

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nutriment information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy .

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collage showing images of the process for reheating tamales in the Instant Pot

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